Field Trips to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Thank you for your interest in visiting the Ann Arbor Farmers Market! The market is a wonderful and unique place with a wide variety of opportunities for learning and a rich history of its own. Visiting the market can be a valuable educational experience for your students. Click on the toolkit on the right sidebar for more information.
A visit to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market can allow teachers to:
- Introduce the concepts of seasonality, local food, and sustainable agriculture
- Enable children to interact directly with farmers
- Teach about the health benefits of eating farm-fresh food
- Explore the community created by the farmers market as a fun, interactive, and nurturing space
- Discover the diverse varieties and delicious flavors of foods that are grown in Michigan and available at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
- Discuss the environmental impacts of eating local and seasonal foods versus out-of-season foods that have been shipped long distances
Tips for Teachers Before Visiting the Market:
Decide on your instructional objectives and introduce key concepts
- Take some time to prepare students for the visit by discussing the trip and some things they might encounter in advance.
- Have a class discussion about one of the following topics: where different foods come from, types of farms, farmers markets, the four seasons, how plants grow, parts of the plant we eat, basic nutrition, food miles/local food vs. conventional food.
- With older students you can explore the environmental, social, economic and political impacts of local, sustainable family farming vs. industrialized agriculture and go into greater depth about the health benefits of eating farm fresh food vs. processed food.
- Come up with a list of questions to ask the farmers or the market manager.
- Teach a specific lesson in the classroom about a related topic and use the market visit to give the students a chance to apply what they learned in the classroom lesson. See the lesson plan links on this page for ideas!
Establish chaperones that are familiar with the farmers market
Parents are a great resource, especially if they regularly shop at the farmers market because they can serve to introduce students to farmers and produce they are familiar with.
Get in touch with the Market Manager
It is a great courtesy to let the market manager, Sarah, know that there will be a large group of students in the market on a given day. If you let the manager know a few days in advance of your visit, the market staff may be able to talk with your students for a few minutes and answer questions! Contact Sarah (email@example.com) or Carrie (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the office, 734.794.6255.